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The New York Yacht Club

The New York Yacht Club (NYYC) was started on July 30, 1844, when John Cox Stevens invited eight friends to his yacht Gimcrack, anchored in New York Harbor. The nine who met nearly 170 years ago resolved to form the NYYC and named Stevens commodore. Three days hence, the new commodore announced, members would be departing on a yacht-club cruise to Newport. Thus, began the historical connection between the NYYC and Newport, RI. 

  • A model of Gimcrack. The NYYC was formed on Gimcrack in 1844.

  • The trophy that came to be called the America's Cup. The NYYC defended the trophy from 1870-1983.

  • A contempory rendering of the first Annual Regatta in 1845.

  • The New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta presented by Rolex, in 2012, Billy Black photo

  • The first Transatlantic Race, in 1866 -- a NYYC event won by future Commodore James Gordon Bennett Jr.

  • The NYYC's West 44th Street Clubhouse opened in 1901, Carlo Borlenghi/Rolex

  • The Transatlantic Race 2011, Dan Nerney photo

  • The Harbour Court Clubhouse, Dan Nerney photo

  • Harbour Court -- the NYYC's on-the-water facility, Dan Nerney

  • Station 10 -- or the NYYC's First Clubhouse that opened in 1845, Dan Nerney photo

The NYYC's first clubhouse was built in 1845 on land donated by Commodore Stevens, at the family estate at Elysian Fields in Hoboken, NJ, overlooking the Hudson River. The clubhouse, a Gothic revival building, officially opened on July 15, 1846. This was followed the next day by the first club regatta, billed as a "trial of speed." This became the "Annual Regatta." This summer (2013), the NYYC will host its 159th Annual Regatta, presented by Rolex. Today, the NYYC has its signature clubhouse on New York's West 44th Street – a National Historic Landmark -- and an on-the-water clubhouse in Newport, RI. The first clubhouse, "Station 10," is on the Newport property.

Racing sailboats has long been a theme of the NYYC. In 1851, a schooner painted black arrived at the Isle of Wight in England looking to win races. This was the yacht America, owned by John Cox Stevens, the first commodore of the New York Yacht Club (NYYC), and other club members. America crossed the Atlantic on her own bottom and challenged all English yachts to a match race. No yacht was willing to race her, however. Finally, America joined a free-for-all on Friday, August 22, around the Isle of Wight. Watching the race, which included 15 English yachts and America, was Queen Victoria, who supposedly inquired, "Which is first?" Told it was America, she asked, "Which is second?" "Ah, Your Majesty, there is no second," was the reply. Or so the story goes. America won the Royal Yacht Squadron's "Hundred Guinea Cup," later called the America's Cup in honor of the yacht that won it. The NYYC defended that trophy from 1870-1983. This has been described by journalists as "the longest winning streak in sports."

Today, the NYYC conducts the aforementioned NYYC Annual Regatta presented by Rolex, Race Week at Newport presented by Rolex and Transatlantic races – the next one, the Transatlantic Race 2019, will be in June 2019 -- in conjunction with the Royal Yacht Squadron, the Royal Ocean Racing Club and the Storm Trysail Club. The club also conducts the biennial Rolex NYYC Invitational Cup  for Corinthian (amateur) sailors representing their yacht clubs and nations, its companion event for U.S. yacht clubs, the Resolute Cup, and national, North American and world championships. The NYYC also runs and participates in numerous Team Racing Events and Cruising activities. View More 


New York Yacht Club
37 West 44th Street
New York, NY 10036 USA
+1(212) 382-1000
Fax: +1(212) 391-6368

New York Yacht Club Harbour Court
5 Halidon Ave.
Newport, RI 02840 USA
+1(401) 846-1000
Fax: +1(401) 846-0732